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The Dark Souls game looks incredible, as a fan of the video game series. The gameplay video looks solid, and really quite evocative of the video game gameplay. Very impressed with what they’ve managed to do with the mechanics.

And it’s from the makers of Guild Ball, a project I wish I’d backed. I played a demo at a recent trade show and really liked it a lot. And the minis are quite nice. I trust this company to do right by Dark Souls.

The retailer pledge support is a move similar to the recent distribution policy change by AsmodeeNA/FFG to try to curb the deep discounting and devaluation of games by third party online sales. Many brick and mortar stores are feeling the hurt from hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns that essentially act as a preorder system for buyers, bypassing the retail channel completely. These huge games are releasing, games that would in the past be smash hits and help stores make rent, but the stores are getting cut out of that profit channel, because their customers got the game at the same time (and many times sooner) as them. The retailers associations have voiced their concerns, and the manufacturers are starting to listen. I’m encouraged by what Steam Forged is doing here. They’re making all of these stretch goals “NON-Kickstarter exclusive” but keeping some of them available through traditional retail channels only. That way, everyone can still back the project, get a great early adopter price, add on a bunch of cool stretch goals. But at the same time, there’s still a reason to go to your FLGS and buy product from them, which (in the eyes of many) helps promote and grow the game trade as a whole. I expect this to become the new norm, based on presentations at a trade show I recently attended.

I was pissed off as soon as I saw CMON launching a new Rum & Bones project. I mean….it’s the same game! They did it with Zombiecide, now they’re doing it again. I dunno. Maybe it’s me. I never really was drawn to the original game either.